In September there is to be a synchroblog on Christians and the immigration issue, and here’s a foretaste, so you can start thinking about it in advance.
Let me introduce you to “Warren” (not his real name). Warren has a wife and three children. Before coming here he helped bury a friend’s wife, who had died of cholera (and was eight months pregnant). Warren slept outside for three weeks near Musina. The first day in Polokwane he approached me because he had heard that the Anglican Church helps refugees.
I said we weren’t much use, but we could give him some food. I know that people sleep down by the train station or the taxi rank and pointed him in the right direction. Warren arrived the next day having been mugged and stripped of everything except his trousers and shirt. Luckily he’d put his asylum papers (legal documents) in his pants.
“Chris” and “Fred” teamed up with Warren the next night and slept at a local garage, because it is well lit. The three of them fear the police. When they walk around town or wait on the side of the road for work, they get harassed or moved on. They’ve heard stories of our police tearing up asylum papers so they can be deported back across the border as illegals.
And its not only the police who are xenophobic, as the mob violence of a couple of years ago should remind us.
If you’d like to participate in the synchroblog, which is on 8 September 2010, there’s more information at Synchroblogging Is Back | Grace Rules Weblog.